Are you thinking about purchasing an e-reader? You’re not alone. E-readers are more popular than ever before and for a good reason. These devices are lightweight, have long battery life, and allow you to take your entire library with you wherever you go. But, choosing an e-reader can be a difficult task. There are many different models to choose from, and they vary in price, features, and size.
In this post, Penn Book will discuss the best e-reader for various audiences so you can find the one that is right for you. Let’s explore the top contenders in the market today!
What is a Kindle?
Amazon’s line-up of ebook readers is Kindle. It was launched in 2007. Amazon has introduced many new Kindle models over the years. These range from the basic original Kindle to Kindle Oasis, which offers more features like a blue light filter and water resistance.
Amazon launched a line of tablets under the Kindle Fire brand confusing many as Kindle Fires were note-book readers but Android-based tablets. Amazon decided to drop the “Kindle” part from the name and rebranded the range as “Fire tablet” in the Fire HD 10 Plus and Fire HD 10 Plus.
What is a Nook?
The Nook is an ebook reader made by Barnes & Noble, a major U.S. bookstore. The Nook Tablets run Android. However, it is also available in a Nook Tablets line. You may be want to know How To Download Library Books To Nook keep reading to know the best full guide.
What is a Kobo?
Rakuten’s ebook reader, the Kobo, is made by Japanese electronic giant Rakuten. Rakuten is less involved in the bookselling business than Amazon. This makes it easier to download ebooks from other sources on your Kobo device. Kobo devices are therefore more open than Amazon’s Kindle. Kindle files and Apple iBooks cannot be supported. However, Kobo supports more file formats than any other ebook reader.
Top Best Ebook Readers 2021
A dedicated e-reader can’t offer you the internet, email, or social media to distract you from your book. They also have long battery life. E Ink technology is used in many ebook readers. They are waterproof and can be washed out in the direct sun. You may find free ebook downloads at your local library. There are also many free ebooks available online. This list has the ideal e-reader to satisfy your digital books needs, whether you are into graphic novels or biographies.
Amazon Kindle Oasis
Best premium ebook reader
Amazon’s E Ink ebook reader is Amazon’s best-selling model. However, the Kindle e-reader device was slightly updated in 2019. The device is almost identical to the Kindle Oasis. The screen can be set to update automatically at sunrise and sunset. This is similar to Night Shift on Apple devices.
The Oasis costs $250 and is a very expensive e-reader. Paperwhite is more famous for Kindle ebook reading. However, if you are looking for the best e-reading with anti-glare technology and are willing to pay a premium, the Oasis might be the right choice. Although the Kobo Forma is also available for $250, it has a larger 8-inch screen than the Oasis 7. The battery life of this divide is up to six weeks.
- Our best 7", 300 ppi flush-front Paperwhite display.
You have plenty of storage space, 8GB is the default, but 32GB is available if you already have or plan to acquire an extensive digital library. Wi-Fi is standard on the base model, but you can also choose LTE to access Kindle books from Amazon’s Kindle Store regardless of where you are.
WhisperSync supports you to stop reading on your Oasis and start reading again on the Kindle app or another Kindle device. However, this will require that your devices are on the same Wi-Fi network.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
- Best all-around ebook reader
- Best cheap Kindle
This is one of the best Kindle ereaders for anyone shopping. It’s also the winner of the CNET Editors Choice Award in this category. We love this best buy Kindle Paperwhite.
- It is 10% lighter and thinner than the previous version.
- The back is made from soft, grippy reading material and has a flush-front design.
- It is a fully waterproof Kindle like the high-end Kindle Oasis and features a plastic screen that Amazon claims is scratch- and shatter-resistant.
- Bluetooth is built into the device so that you can download Amazon Audible audiobooks to your device and then listen to them wirelessly with your headphones.
- The 6-inch e-ink reader is lightweight and easy to use with one hand.
The waterproof Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is listed at $130, but it’s regularly discounted to $90 or even $85, which is the time you should purchase it. Amazon is likely to update the Kindle Paperwhite by 2021. However, it is not clear when or how big of an upgrade is. We wouldn’t be surprised if USB-C charging is added or the lighting scheme is updated.
See more all new kindle paperwhite below:
- The thinnest, lightest Kindle Paperwhite yet—with a flush-front design and 300 ppi glare-free display that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight.
See also about Best Ways To Put Books On Kindle Paperwhite 
Amazon Kindle 2019
Best budget e-reader
Amazon’s latest entry-level ebook reader, the Kindle, has a self-illuminated display and an updated design. This ebook reader costs $90, which is $10 more than the Kindle 2016. However, this Kindle device can be purchased for as low as $60.
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is our favorite. It has a higher-resolution display (texts and images look sharper), is waterproof, and has a better lighting scheme. A standard Kindle is an excellent option if you don’t want to pay too much, especially when it’s on sale. It will be updated in 2021, according to our expectations.
The user interface is basic but easy to use and makes it easy to read digital magazines and books. It is also lightweight and slim, making it easy to carry around all your titles.
Bluetooth allows you to listen to Audible books through your pair of wireless headphones.
- Purpose-built for reading with a 167 ppi glare-free display that reads like real paper, even in direct sunlight.
Kobo Libra H2o
Best non-Amazon e-reader
The Kobo Libra H2o is a benchmark for non-Amazon ebook readers with flexible format support and an exceptional form factor.
Rakuten offers a range of Kobo e-readers. These devices are powered by Kobo and support 14 file and e-book formats natively (EPUB3, PDF, MOBI and EPUB support) and the Kobo store. This means that if you download books from sources other than Amazon, the device can probably read them.
The Kobo Libra H2o is capable of handling a wide range of e-book formats. You can also download books from Google Play or your local library.
The Kobo Libra H2o, which sells for $150, is in the middle of this line. It’s also fully waterproof, as the name suggests. The Kobo Libra H2o has a 7 inch E Ink screen and a built-in lamp. There are no ads, but you will have to pay $20 to remove them from Kindle versions. Depending on your reading preferences, it may only require a few weeks to recharge the battery, depending on how you read.
The Kobo Libra is available in white or black. It can be used in landscape or portrait mode. The Kobo Nia ($100), Kobo Clara HD (118), and the Kobo Forma ($250) are other Kobo devices.
Kobo Clara HD
Best cheap e-book reader
The Kobo e-reader is ideal for anyone who has to borrow books from public libraries.
Kobo’s Clara HD e-reader can more than compete with Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite. The Clara HD is cheaper than Amazon’s Kindle counterpart and performs better in almost all areas.
The Clara HD, which costs $120, is an alternative to the larger Kobo e-readers. The Clara HD is a simple e-reader with Kobo’s ComfortLight Pro integrated lighting, a 300ppi (1.072×1,448 resolution), an “HD” display, 8GB storage, and a 1GHz CPU. The Kobo Clara HD charges via USB-C and not Micro-USB, unlike Amazon’s Kindle models.
- 𝗔𝗗𝗝𝗨𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗕𝗟𝗘 𝗕𝗜𝗥𝗚𝗛𝗧𝗡𝗘𝗦𝗦 & 𝗕𝗟𝗨𝗘 𝗟𝗜𝗚𝗛𝗧 𝗖𝗢𝗡𝗧𝗥𝗢𝗟 – The Kobo Clara HD has ComfortLight PRO to adjust the brightness and colour temperature of your screen. Gradually reducing blue light exposure, making reading easier by limiting eyestrain, so you can read before bed in the dark comfortably
Best jumbo e-reader
A select few readers loved the 9.7 inch Kindle DX. It was discontinued many years ago. Sony and other companies have produced iPad-sized E Ink tablets, but they are pretty costly. Kobo’s 10.3-inch Elipsa is now aiming to fill this jumbo e-reader market. It is sold under the “Elipsa Pack” and comes with a slipcover and a stylus. It is sharp screen and easy to read with the E Ink Carta 1200 touchscreen, which has a resolution of 1404×1872 (227 PPI), and a dark mode.
An E Ink device with a quad-core processor of 1.8 GHz and 32GB storage feels slower than an iPad (using an Apple Pencil). However, E Ink devices still perform well, and the battery life is excellent. The Elipsa is comparable to other e-readers in that it can last for weeks instead of hours.
The Elipsa supports 15 file formats natively (EPUB3, FlePub, and JPEG), PDF, MOBI. It also weighs in at 13.5oz (383g), with the cover adding weight. This makes it a heavy reader. The case can be used to support the e-reader while you read, take notes, review, or mark up documents.
Although big e-readers may not be for everyone, they can be a good option if you want to read large fonts or see more words per page. You can also use them to view PDF files.
We have yet to test the LifeBook P10, which is an alternative that costs slightly less.
- 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗠𝗨𝗦𝗧-𝗛𝗔𝗩𝗘 𝗪𝗥𝗜𝗧𝗜𝗡𝗚 & 𝗥𝗘𝗔𝗗𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗣𝗔𝗖𝗞𝗔𝗚𝗘 – Includes the Kobo Elipsa eReader, Kobo Stylus, and SleepCover. The Kobo Stylus lets you write directly on the page, just like a pen on paper. The SleepCover is designed to stand at the optimum height for writing and reading, and puts your eReader to sleep when you close it
This is the basic Kindle competitor with a larger resolution screen.
The Nia was announced in July 2020. It is also the cheapest e-reader from Kobo. The Nia is a basic e-reader, which offers direct competition to basic Amazon Kindle. Although it is slightly more expensive than the Kindle, the screen is better and responsive at 6 inches. It has a resolution of 1024×758, 212ppi, which is a significant improvement over the Kindle’s 167ppi display.
The user interface is also more intuitive, which has been steadily improving over the past few years. The Nia has the same features as the Libra H2O, but they are now much more intuitive than any Kindle model.
Other advantages of the Nia over the Kindle include a more comprehensive file format support (like all Kobos) and third-party integration with OverDrive to borrow library e-books, Pocket to read on the internet, and Dropbox for cloud storage. You can sideload fonts to your Nia, just like the Kobos.
The physical similarities between the Kindle and Nia are very similar, but the Kobo device features a textured back panel that gives the e-book reader more control. We do have one complaint about the device, which was launched in 2020. It does not have USB-C charging.
The Nia does not have Bluetooth support, unlike the Kindle. This is a commonality that all Kobo readers share, even the premium. The Nia does not have audiobook support. This is the same as the current Kindle base model.
If you don’t want to be locked into Amazon’s ecosystem, the Nia is an excellent e-book reader that anyone can afford. The Nia does not have a blue light filter, so the Kobo Clara HD might be a better choice if you are looking to read at night. It has a sharper 300ppi display and is more affordable.
- 𝗖𝗢𝗠𝗙𝗢𝗥𝗧𝗟𝗜𝗚𝗛𝗧 𝗔𝗗𝗝𝗨𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗕𝗟𝗘 𝗕𝗥𝗜𝗚𝗛𝗧𝗡𝗘𝗦𝗦 – Enjoy reading at night with Kobo Nia’s built in, adjustable ComfortLight. When a story's worth staying up late, dim your eReader's brightness and read in bed in the dark, comfortably
- Amazon Kindle Kids Edition
- Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight 3
The Advantages of Ebook
1. Battery life
E-book readers consume far less power than tablets, allowing manufacturers to claim days or even weeks of battery life. Every model above has at least two days of battery life if you are an avid reader. This is pushed up to several weeks if your reading habits are more casual. Tablets can be used for many other purposes, so they will likely need to be charged daily.
2. E Ink technology
Every perfect e-reader available on the market has an E Ink screen with matte finishes, different from the shiny reflective screens on tablets. This allows e-book readers to be used in bright sunlight, which can sometimes cause problems with backlit tablet screens.
3. Blue light filter
Although the dark mode is becoming more common in recent years, many modern electronic screens adjust their displays based on ambient lighting. However, no filter can reduce the blue light that disrupts sleep. However, e-book readers use front lights that have a white-to-yellow hue. This is much better for your eyes (and your sleeping pattern) than tablets and phones.
4. Convenient and affordable
An e-book reader is a better choice than a tablet for several reasons. They are smaller and lighter than a tablet and have thicker bezels that allow you to hold them comfortably while reading. They are also usually cheaper than a tablet.
The most expensive e-book readers, such as the 3G Kindle Oasis and the Kobo Forma, cost twice as much as a budget-priced tablet. A multipurpose device will give you more value for money, but you’ll have to deal with limited battery life and a bright display that isn’t the best e-reader for digital books reading.
Which Screen Type is Best and How Big?
E-ink screens are monochrome and can be used to display text in primary ebook readers. E-ink or digital ink, which E Ink often manufactures, looks much like paper and is accessible on the eyes for long reading sessions. It’s not backlit on the cheapest models, so you will need to have light to read the text.
Edge lighting is now available on most ebook readers, which allows you to see in the dark. You can adjust the intensity of the lighting on each model to make it more or less bright. You can read in darkness while your partner is sleeping peacefully beside you.
In all cases, e-ink is easier to read in direct sunlight than color touch screens on tablets. Their glossy displays can also show distracting reflections.
6 inch screen seems to be the ideal size for e-ink readers. This is what you will find on most Amazon Kindles. However, there are exceptions: Kobo Forma measures 8 inches; Kobo Elipsa measures 10.3 inches. Onyx offers a variety of sizes, including larger tablets that can be used to read full-sized documents. There are also differences in screen resolution. E Ink Carta screens are used for smaller, high-quality ebook readers. They have 300 pixels per inch; larger screens tend not to be as dense.
Manufacturers are improving these e-ink displays. A few years back, page refreshes were slow, and the whole screen was black every page turn. Some early ebook readers also had issues with text contrast which made it difficult to read. This is all history. The most recent e-readers use caching schemes to cache text that is crisp and clear. Most of the time, the letters fade out and then disappear again. Page refreshes happen much faster than ever before.
Are You Willing to Read Ebooks on the Beach?
You might consider purchasing a waterproof e-book reader if you enjoy reading in the tub, at the pool, or the beach. There are many options. There are many options. Using the page turn buttons on the Amazon Kindle Oasis, you can flip pages with ease when your hands are too wet for touch screens.
What about color?
Tablets with color screens are great for those who need to read more than just books. Larger tablets are great for reading comic books and magazines. Fire 7 tablets, which are much cheaper than the Fire 7, can surf the internet, stream video from Netflix and Hulu, play music, and run apps. We recommend the iPad base model for anyone who wants to read full-page color content.
The breakthrough in color E Ink display was made last year with the appearance of several E Ink Kaleido and E Ink Kaleido Plus book readers. Two of these, the PocketBook InkPad Color and the Onyx Nova3 Color, have been tested by us. They both show the potential of color e-ink. We can’t recommend these as screen technology is very dim with low full-color resolutions and ghosting. LCD tablets are superior.
Read more about Top 12 Best Tablet For Reading Reviews In 2021
What e-book reader should I buy?
All Kobo ebook readers come with OverDrive built-in. This means that anyone who has a membership to local public library books in a country with e-books support can borrow them from their local library. Many public libraries in Australia and the UK allow members to borrow e-books. This will save you a lot of money over the long-term on books purchases.
Kindles can also borrow library books, but this support is limited and only available to US users. Amazon Prime members can use the Prime Reading service for free, which is available to Kindle users. You can choose from over 1000 titles, but the Prime Reading service doesn’t allow you to own the books.
If you are keen to own all the books you have read, the Kindle Store has a lot more selection than the Kobo Store. This is primarily because Amazon self-publishes. However, Kobo’s Super Points system allows you to save points earned on purchases to use later (note that these points can expire).
When choosing an e-book reader, another vital consideration is whether it supports different file types. Amazon e-books will only accept.azw files, but ebook readers can also read.mobi files. You will need to convert. epub files into a supported format using Calibre (either.azw,.mobi files)
Kobos will, however, support all file types, except Amazon’s.azw. Your Kobo device will even allow you to read text files, PDFs, and graphic novels, to name just a few.
Amazon has several fonts for Kindles, including Ember and Bookerly. The fonts available on Kindles are so extensive that we didn’t feel the need to add more. However, you can if needed.
Although Kobo devices have their default fonts, there is no prohibition on sideloading additional fonts, even Amazon’s custom fonts like Bookerly. Sideloading is as simple as plugging in your Kobo e-reader to a computer and then moving the font you want to the device’s fonts folder.
Although the Kobo Store offers a wide range of audiobooks and audible books, they are not available on any of their e-readers. Not even the Forma. To do this, you will need to download the Kobo App on your tablet or smartphone.
All the latest iterations of the Kindle devices (Kindle 8th Generation, Kindle Oasis 8th, Kindle Paperwhite 9th, and Kindle Paperwhite 10th generation devices) have Bluetooth connectivity for wireless headphones and audiobook support for any Audible audiobooks.
Support for external apps
Goodreads is a fantastic social platform for avid e-readers of books. Since Amazon bought the company, seamless integration has been made with Kindle intelligent devices. It’s an easy and great way to keep track of your library. Integration with other platforms on Kindle devices is not possible.
Kobo has a partnership agreement with Dropbox. You can connect your library books to Dropbox and transfer files to your device by simply saving them in a Dropbox folder.
Pocket support is also available on Kobo devices. This app lets you read long-form articles from the internet that you have saved for later. By syncing with Pocket, you will be able to access them all on your Kobo e-reader.
We hope this article has helped you find the best e-reader for your needs. Whether it’s a Kindle, Kobo, or Nook, we are confident that there is an option out there to suit all types of e-readers and budgets. If you have any more questions about these devices’ different benefits, feel free to get in touch with Penn Book.
Last update on 2021-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API